Two area high schools have added athletics directors:
• Philip Davanzo is the new athletics director at Mallard Creek, replacing Karen McKaig. Davanzo, a former college wrestler, was previously head wrestling coach and assistant athletics director at Durham Jordan. He’s also a former assistant football coach at Raleigh Millbrook.
• Tom Jamerson is the new athletics director at Marvin Ridge. He previously was athletics director at Charlotte Christian.
Concord First Assembly (CFA) junior wide receiver Conner O’Donnell verbally committed to play at Virginia Tech, according to his father Geoff O’Donnell.
O’Donnell was the first Virginia Tech commit for the class of 2016, giving his commitment to Virginia Tech assistant Shane Beamer, son of Hokies coach Frank Beamer. O’Donnell also had offers from UCLA, Mississippi State and Akron.
O’Donnell recently transferred to CFA from SouthLake Christian, where he played for the elder O’Donnell, helping the Eagles win an NCISAA Division III championship last season.
O’Donnell had 48 catches for 1,308 yards (27 yards per catch) and eight touchdowns last season for SouthLake Christian and earned all-state honors.
• The Shrine Bowl will expand its rosters this season by four players. N.C. and S.C. teams will now include 44 players. The game had gone to 40 players and now is returning to its old roster format.
“The Shrine Bowl decided to give more schools and players the opportunity to participate,” Shrine Bowl chairman Ronnie Blount said.
The all-star game has been played since 1937 and benefits the Shriner’s Hospital for Children.
• The first Union County vs. Carolinas All-Star Gridiron Clash will be held at Monroe High Sept. 4-5, 2015. Pinecrest will face Cuthbertson Sept. 4, 2015 and on Sept. 5, 2015, South Meck will play Porter Ridge, Charlotte Christian will play Weddington and Hunter Huss will play Monroe in a triple-header.
Several Observer-area players were named to the N.C. Baseball Coaches all-state team for 2014:
Mason Smith, North Gaston; Brett Pope, West Iredell; David Kuchmoner, Marvin Ridge; David Nash, Piedmont; Corey Sikes, Piedmont; Julian Smith, Cox Mill; Tanner Muse, South Point; Zack Almond, North Stanly; Christian Hilty, Lincoln Charter; Alston Mosteller, Cherryville; Doug Norman, Ardrey Kell; Ryder Ryan, North Meck; James Hickes, Independence; Aaron Pilkington, Ardrey Kell; Zack Featherstone, Ardrey Kell; Matt Ball, Providence; Tommy DeJuneas, Providence; Andre Moritz, Providence; Triston Glover, Independence; Jake Whittingham, Butler
• Carmen Woodruff, a rising eighth grader at Charlotte Country Day, won the 2014 AAU national diving championship in the 13-year-old girls’ 3-meter springboard, the 1-meter springboard and the Tower .... Myers Park girls’ basketball coach Barbara Nelson, who led her team to its first state title in March, coached the Charlotte-based N.C. Spartans 2017 AAU team to a runner-up finish in the national championships in Orlando.
• Providence Day junior Anna Cockrell, the 2014 Observer girls’ track athlete of the year, won the 100-meter hurdles at the USA National Junior Olympics in Humble, Texas, last week. She also finished third in the 400-meter hurdles.
• Alex Hyner is Mallard Creek’s new boys’ soccer coach. Hyner, who previously was on staff at Providence Day, replaces Louis Nesbitt. ... Kristina Bond is the new head varsity swim coach at Providence Day. Bond is a Queens University graduate and a SwimMac Carolina coach. She coached at Porter Ridge last season.
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